Apr 9, 2019

Can You Trademark a Smell?

Article By Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock
It may not be the type of smell that perfumes a room. However, the smell of Play-Doh is a distinctive one that has conjured up playful memories from over 3 billion cannisters over the past 60 years. The "scent of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, combined with the smell of a salted, wheat-based dough" overcame rejections from the U.S. Trademark Office to become registered as a non-visual scent mark. Very few such marks have been registered by the Trademark Office because of the difficult task of concretely describing an abstract concept and attaching it to a product. Furthermore, the smell cannot be a part of the product's functionality. It will be interesting to see how the company enforces its Trademark.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.

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